What is a Varicocele?
Let’s first examine the definition of a varicocele. The male testicles are located in the scrotum, a skin-covered pouch. It also houses the veins and arteries that supply the reproductive organs with blood. When testicular blood does not adequately exit the scrotum and instead congeals in the veins, a varicocele form.
These veins are refer to as the Pampiniform Plexus. Varicocele can occur in ten to fifteen guys out of every hundred. 15% of mature males and 35% of men with primary infertility have this. Males between the ages of 15 and 25 have a higher prevalence of varicocele.
The development of varicoceles typically begins throughout adolescence. The incidence of varicoceles appears to be higher on the left side of the scrotum. Varicoceles can also appear concurrently on both sides, however this is rare. Although it shouldn’t hurt, men may find it annoying or uncomfortable. Additionally, it can impair your fertility or result in testicular atrophy. Overheating of the testes can decrease sperm production and sperm count, resulting in decreased reproductive potential, when these veins swell, as in varicocele. There are numerous varicocele treatments available to address these problems.
Causes of Varicocele
A spermatic cord supports each testicle. The cords also include the veins, arteries, and nerves that supply these glands. Healthy veins in the scrotum receive blood from the testicles, while one-way valves in the scrotum send the blood back to the heart. The vein might sometimes enlarge because the blood doesn’t always flow through the veins as it should and begins to build up there. In addition, the major veins that connect the testicles to the heart on the left and right sides are not connect in the same way. Therefore, extra pressure on the left side is need to maintain blood flow through the veins and towards the heart. Blood that pools or flows in the opposite way may cause the veins to expand. Varicocele growth happens gradually. Blood flow can occasionally be obstruct by masses behind the belly, including swollen lymph nodes. The scrotal veins could unintentionally expand as a result of this.
These were the causes of varicocele. Let’s talk about its symptoms now.
Symptoms of Varicocele
On the left side of the scrotum, varicocele is a condition that frequently occurs but seldom causes any symptoms. However, the following varicocele symptoms may be seen:
- scrotum or testicle swelling
- variances in size or anomalies in yours.
- When lying down, dull testicular pain or scrotal pain frequently becomes better.
- Symptoms that get worse after doing certain things, like riding a bike or standing for a long time.
- Not all varicoceles result in male infertility, which is the inability to conceive after a year of trying.
Over the damaged testicle, there develops a little protrusion.
Varicocele: How is it diagnos?
Self-examination of the scrotum or a routine medical exam can both reveal varicoceles. The urologist may urge the patient to inhale deeply, hold it, and bear down as they feel the scrotum above the testicle. There are numerous ways your doctor can determine if you have a varicocele, including:
Physical examination: Your doctor will probably examine your testicles when you are standing and laying down because a varicocele is typically difficult to feel or see when you are lying down.
Scrotal Ultrasound: In some circumstances, scrotal ultrasonography may be necessary. This enables your doctor to measure the spermatic veins and obtain an accurate, comprehensive image.
Valsalva manoeuvre: The Valsalva manoeuvre is a common technique for spotting small varicoceles. As the doctor examines your scrotum, you must typically stand, take a deep breath, hold it, and bear down to perform the Valsalva procedure.
Your doctor will assign the varicocele one of three clinical grades after identifying it. They receive one of Grades 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3. One is the lowest grade, while three is the highest. It’s possible that size will not always have an effect on the complete treatment plan. Your treatment options will be determine by the severity of your discomfort or reproductive issues.
Methods of Varicocele Treatment
Not all varicocele cases need to be seen by a doctor. However, the varicocele could need to be treated if
- causes infertility causes agony
- what causes enlarged testicles
You might decide to avoid participating in some activities that give you anxiety. In order to alleviate discomfort brought on by strenuous exercise or prolonged standing, try wearing a jockstrap or tighter-fitting underwear. Applying ice to your scrotum could make you feel better. If your symptoms get worse, your doctor may advise a varicocelectomy and suggest varicocele embolization as well.
A varicocelectomy is an in-patient procedure complete on the same day. A urologist will enter through your pelvis or abdomen and clamp or tie up the aberrant veins. After then, blood may enter the healthy veins from the aberrant veins. Varicocele surgery results in a significant improvement in semen analysis outcomes in 60 to 80 percent of guys.
This less invasive procedure can also be carry out in one day. A tiny catheter is inserte into a vein in the neck or groyne. The catheter is then introduced into the varicocele, followed by the insertion of a coil. Blood cannot enter the aberrant veins as a result.
- Possible Complications & Risks
Scrotal discomfort, decreased testosterone production by the testes, and impaired fertility are the three main issues varicoceles can cause. Varicoceles are not lethal, but they can occasionally be associated with dire situations. It seems that varicoceles always have an effect on the level of testosterone produced. However, many men with varicoceles are able to sustain healthy testosterone levels over the course of their lifetimes without treatment. Your body’s capacity to regulate the temperature of your testicles may be compromised by a varicocele. This can lead to the buildup of toxins and oxidative stress. Infertility and poor testicular health may be caused by these conditions.
Varicocele is a frequent illness that can affect men of any age and stage of life. Most folks either have hardly any symptoms or none at all. With your doctor, go about your treatment options, including how having surgery might influence your ability to have children in the future.